If there's one thing that the world needs
today more than anything else, it would have to be romantic comedies.
The Masked Reviewer is sure that if there were only more romantic
comedies, there wouldn't be as much death, disease, and suffering...or
at least if there were as much death, disease, and suffering, we
wouldn't care as much because we'd be having a good time at our romantic
And thankfully Along Came Polly came along, because it is,
in fact, a romantic comedy.
Without giving too much away, the film is about a guy who falls for a
woman and then tries to get together with her and things go well for a
while until they have an obstacle which they have to overcome, thereby
bringing them closer together in the end when true love triumphs over
all. Not only that, but this film also features the twist that two
of the characters are, like, total opposites. Will opposites
attract? Wow! It's deep on so many levels.
Ben Stiller stars in the film. You may remember him from such
romantic comedies as
There's Something About Mary,
Keeping the Faith, and
Meet the Parents. If you're a Hollywood studio and you
need someone to play a nice guy who occasionally freaks out, Ben Stiller
is "da man." Please note that, in response to reader feedback, the
Masked Reviewer is placing punctuation inside the quotation marks in the
above sentence. That's because the Masked Reviewer is here for
Jennifer Aniston, who you may remember as TV's Rachel on "Friends,"
also appears in this film. She plays the paramour, the object of
Ben Stiller's affection, and/or he hot babe. Jennifer Aniston also
Office Space and
Bruce Almighty, as well as in other films in which she also
Some critics of Jennifer Aniston's appearances in films in which she has
appeared in have suggested that she often plays the same kind of
character, often similar to her character on "Friends." While her
appearance as the (extremely) titular Polly in this film is vaguely
evocative of her thespianic efforts as Rachel, Aniston is actually
surprisingly good and funny as Polly. She plays a non-committal
and flighty waitress, but develops a funny and interesting character in
a lot of subtle ways.
That's not to say that Ben Stiller isn't good. While he also
often appears in his appearances in films as the same kind of character,
he has a charm and likeability about himself that works well for
romantic comedies (including this one) which may explain why he's in
every romantic comedy ever made. Okay, that is perhaps a bit
of an overstatement. But he's good in this.
And not only are Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston great, but every
single supporting actor turns in a splendid performance as well.
Standing out above the rest is Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is
above-the-rim as Ben Stiller's friend in a part that he (or Jack Black)
was born to play. We don't see enough of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
in comedic roles, probably because it takes too long to write out his
name. Why not just go by Seymour? How many Seymour's are
working in Hollywood these days? Him and Jane Seymour. And
when's the last time you heard of Jane Seymour doing anything? In
fact, Phillip Seymour Hoffman could even go with "C-More," which would
be much easier to type. Maybe even "C-Mo."
In any event, Alec Baldwin also gives a snappy and fun performance as
Ben Stiller's Long Islander boss. Debra Messing from "Will and
Grace" (she plays Grace) has a relatively small role that's not very
deep, but she manages to flesh it out into an interesting character.
Bryan Brown (from
2) plays a smarmy daredevil millionaire, and also brings more to
the part than one would expect. Finally, Hank Azaria (of "Simpsons"
fame) plays a hunky beach comber. Hank buffed up for the role, and
looks like he's ready to play a Chippendale's dancer for his next movie.
Even though he only has a few minutes of screen time, he's hilarious
and...fear not...he uses a goofy accent (French).
What else do you need to know about the film? It features a lot
of gross-out humor. It seems like an odd choice, but some
demographics genius at some studio must have learned that combining
romantic stories with farts equals box office gold. The
gross stuff is occasionally funny, but if you don't like that kind of
humor (remember the toilet scene in
Dumb and Dumber?) then you'll probably have a tough time sitting
through this film. There are other gross-out attempts in the
film...some are funnier than others.
Animal lovers will take issue with Polly's pet, a ferret. He's
blind, you see (the ferret doesn't) and throughout the movie he runs
along at full speed and bashes his tiny little furry head into things.
At the screening the Masked Reviewer attended, the credits weren't
shown, so the Masked Reviewer can't assure you that the Humane Society
made sure that no ferrets were harmed in the making of the movie. For
people who love animals, those scenes will raise your fur.
Usually those people aren't particularly disturbed by images of people
getting beaten-up or killed, but that's a different conversation.
If you can't stand to see a ferret bonked on the head, you'll want to
pass on this one.
All in all, Along Came Polly is surprisingly entertaining.
The writing isn't particularly good, but the performances are. The
mixture of low-brow and character humor manages to balance fairly well,
and there's probably something in the film that will make almost anyone
laugh (except for ferret-lovers). It's predictable, yet cute,
although the mixture of simple charm and toilet jokes also assures that
people will be turned off at times, too. A fine little date movie,
especially if you like any of the actors involved, as they all give fun
Expectation from the Title: After the countries of the world
united to create the World's Largest Cracker, no one was ready for the
humongous invincible planet-crushing alien parrot who appeared to chow
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Everyone is cute in this film.
The Pros: Fun performances by every member of the cast, some
The Cons: Strange mixture of gross humor, character humor, and
slapstick. While there's something in it for everyone, there's
also something in it that everyone won't like. The story feels
overdone and predictable.